Wednesday, July 26, 2006

You're the Apple of my Eye!

This morning started off pretty badly with a doctors visit and some fairly scarey news. I dashed from the doctors appointment to drop Caleb off at his golf lesson. Dashed off to run some errands, and then it was time to schlepp (not sure if using this word correctly) out to the golf course to pick up Caleb again. Grab take out (I hate take out) for the little ones and decided to drop some lunch off to Steve (he works so hard and wanted to let him know I appreciated him) and then hurried to get kids home to eat their lunch before they devoured nasty takeout in "Black Beauty" (aka my surburban). My mind was pretty full of what had transpired at the doctors that morning and I was trying to remain positive and be cheerful for the kids sake (after all, it is their summer vacation and they seem to gauge their moods off mine). As I pulled up to the house, one of the kids told me that a package had been delivered in the morning while I was out. I LOVE packages - they make me feel like a kid at christmas, and I especially love packages that weren't expected. I quickly threw the food at the kids and settled down to open my package.

Wow! One Skein Secret Pal - You're the Apple of my eye!

Inside, was a skein of deep green Manos (I've mentioned before how much I love this yarn); a skein of Noro Transitions (again, Noro is a favorite of mine - although am very excited to try out Transitions for the first time); a box of Chocolates (I started testing them right away, not surprisingly); and ... wait for it ... an IPOD Apple. My secret pal sent a note explaining their package and yarn choices, and that they had read on my blog about my troubles with our computer recently, and that they were a die-hard Apple fan, and felt that I should have something Apple. They thought I'd enjoy music to knit to, and knitting podcasts.

Oh ... my ... gosh! What a great pick me up. Now, before I continue, let me state for the record that I am not as some may suspect purely motivated by material items - but let's be honest - yarn and such thoughtful surprises like this are bound to make the most cold hearted of knitters smile.

OSSPal - what can I say? Thank you. I was busy with the kids the rest of the day, but got a few minutes before taking Declan to his soccer game to load the software and take a peak. Unfortunately, it appears that my USB connection blocks the ipod from connecting fully, so I need to run out in the morning and get a USB connector that will work. But that hasn't stopped me from smiling and acting rather giddy, and taking a look at the iTunes Website and marking certain files that I wanted to download such as knitting podcasts, music and some audiobooks.

For a while, I actually forgot about my dr's appointment. I did take pictures of the lovely package and will load them tomorrow (blogger was not cooperating and I can't be buggered with it tonight).

Now, don't be worrying (as knit bloggers are the kind and caring worrying kind) - my dr's appointment wasn't anything too terrible. I have ovarian cysts and need to have a large one removed (I refuse to have the surgery until after stitches and kids go back to school though - my doctor looked confused when I mentioned Stitches - obviously he is not a knitter). But, while I was there he also did a routine exam and as we were happily chatting away and discussing the 30lbs that had been nice enough to drop off my backside the past 3-4 months, he asked me if I had been doing my breast exams lately and if I had noticed anything out of the ordinary. I told him, I had sort of, and no, I hadn't noticed anything weird. He then guided my hand to a lump which is a little smaller than a quarter and asked me if I had felt that before. Now, knitters, I'm not that big in the milk-making department and have always been pretty sure that before I felt a lump there, I would be able to see it. But, how the hell did I miss this lump. He then wanted me to have a mammogram scheduled and an ultrasound the next day. Unfortunately, the kids have things going on Thursday and Friday and I wanted time to process everything (stall), so I scheduled the mammo for Monday and the ultrasound for Wednesday. The weird thing is, is that I'm not really worried - okay, I'm a little nervous, but I'm 95% sure that it is just a fibrous, grizzly lump or fat and nothing to worry about. One of the few illnesses/diseases not listed in my family is breast cancer, so again that makes me feel pretty calm about the whole thing. What bothers me, is the possibility of huge changing depressing info like that - plobbing itself down on my quite lovely life. I'm quite a risk taker (note: I did move to the US when only 19 without even breaking a sweat). But, this makes me uncomfortable. The thought of my families happy little life being shaken up like this is bloody annoying. Again, let me state that I'm 95% sure that this is nothing - really. I did get really ticked off though, because I didn't think to buffer this info from the doctor to Steve (whose mother had a rough bout with breast cancer a couple of years ago). I just blurted it out on the phone and was very blaze (again, not sure if that's the right word) about the whole thing. I scared him. This man is so kind and loving and gives me the world. He tiptoes around my feelings (with the exception of bday cards - read prev blogs for explanation of this comment) and I stupidly was so insensitive to how he may take this. This bothered me, and still does, the most. Here I was, claiming to worry about how my family would feel about this, and then I go and make Steve feel like crap. I know that Steve doesn't read my blog so I won't take the time to publicly apologize here, but am deeply sorry for being such a cow.

Anyway, I'm not going to knit tonight. I want to go snuggle up next to Steve on the couch.

Again, OSSP, thank you for the lovely package. I think I need a chocolate before I settle down on the couch.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Bag Lady

I don't have a picture of my Bobbles Everywhere bag yet, as I had promised. It's sat at the Black Purl for others to admire for the time being, as I'm waiting for some handles to arrive.

Talking of bags, I did get a new knitting bag (apparently, I have a thing for knitting bags) from Lantern Moon, called City Lights. It's beautiful. Not very big, or probably practical, but it is a way to take along small projects on evenings out and still look dressed up, rather than toting around some hippie chic/suitcase sized bag.

I've been busy working on some of the WIP's, but seem to have lost my ability to get Gauge on my Dale Agave project. I've ripped out the body twice now. I have both of the sleeves completed and am trying to "get 'er done", but I had to play around to get the correct gauge (I forgot to notate what needle size I used for the sleeves, and the usual down one size didn't seem to work.) That's what you get for taking so long to finish a project.

I've also been whipping out some slippers/mukluks for Caleb today and seeing as they're turning out so fast, I'm going to make some for Declan and Ethan too. It gets a little cold in the Northwoods in the winter (which last 6 months), so I'm trying to get a head start on them. Actually, the boys asked me to knit them some slippers, so while they'll still wear handknits (before they reach teen/tween ages) I decided to take advantage of their fondness for the warm and fuzzy slippers.

I had to admit... I feel like a child counting down for Christmas. Maybe someone should put together a "Stitches Advent Calendar". I'm really looking forward to the classes I'm taking, meeting Marji and Jae (and if we can convince Marina to come see us), and all that shopping. I had to hunt down the book "Poems of Color" for my Bohus class. It arrived yesterday. It was worth the hunt - it's a really interesting read and the patterns are beautiful. It made me all the more antsy for the class, and I'm fighting the urge to call Kimmet Croft and order a Bohus Sweater Kit. I must show some willpower and at least wait until I've taken the class.

I ned

Thursday, July 13, 2006

We're on a roll now.

I'm still working hard on the WIP list, although I have been busy knitting on the sample for Black Purl and have finished the back already. Here's the latest update on the WIP's.

The Vivian Hoxbro Sideways Shadow Jacket has 100% of the knitting completed. Now, I just need to graft the back seam together and knit the side seams. Although this seemed to take forever to knit, I love it. I love the yarn, the needles and the colors and the pattern was interesting, with the exception of knitting tiny rows of 340+ stitches.

(This is a picture of one side of the jacket)

I've also finally finished sewing all the bobbles for the Bobbles Everywhere bag. You knit them as round/rectangular swatches and then baste around the edges and cinch them into bobbles. Sounds fun, well it was 100+ bobbles ago. You then have to attach all the bobbles to the purse by tying them on (which fortunately doesn't take as long as you'd think). Then give the ends a haircut... and it's time for felting. I'll felt it later today as I'm taking the kids swimming for a little while so that I can pretend I'm an attentive mother who doesn't long for bedtime each night so that she can sit and knit on the deck 'til her fingers get pins and needles.

I've been reading an interesting group of books lately. (yes, I read lots of books at one time, just like I knit many WIP's). Easy pool and kids sport watching reading is "Devil Wears Prada" it's hilarious and want to see the movie because I love Meryl Streep and I can really picture nailing the role of "her". I've also been reading Leeway Cottage, by Beth Gutcheon, it's a relaxing summer reading book. I just picked up "Amagansett" by Mark Mills as that looked interesting also.

Friday, July 07, 2006

It's Alive!!!!

The computer is up and running. She is behaving beautifully and purring along happily as I type. This weekend was spent in busily updating and restoring files on the computer and spending time with the kids at the annual ChalkFest. Last year, Caleb and I participated in the Chalkfest that is held in downtown Wausau each summer. We worked on a piece together last year, and Caleb was feeling brave enough to step out on his own this year and be a solo artist. Declan decided he would like to participate too, on his own, so I got bored and chalked my own square. The committee hires an artist to come in and draw a magnificient picture each year and make sure we all know what lowly art skills we have, but it's a lot of fun. Over 200 people participated in chalking this year, with tons of spectators coming to watch the fun. It's a fun weekend in the town of Wausau as they also have the Balloon rally held the same time each year. It is a weekend that makes me feel warm and fuzzy about living in a small town that supports the arts and encourages family time. The boys were very excited as they were quoted on the front page of the Daily Herald and felt like stars. Well, here are the photos of the completed items that I've been promising for a week now.
(Left to Right)
Reynolds Odyssey Ribbed Scarf for Steve Meg Swansen Unspun Icelandic Lace Shawl Misti Alpaca Sport weight Baby Hat - adapted from Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino pattern Felted cow pattern wool bag - was supposed to be a felted wool hat for Madison, but even though the gauge was right it didn't felt evenly, so we decided it made a perfect purse for Maddie with some dark wooden handles. Still trying to figure out how to attach wooden handles. Any suggestions?

(Left to Right) Deco Ribbon cropped cardi by Black Purl Purple Cascade 220 Felted Ballet Slippers from Felted Knits Pink Cascade 220 Felted Baby Mary Janes from Fiber Trends Reynolds Odyssey Tunic Sweater Pink Baby Rimini Baby Blanket Great Adirondack Fluff Scarf

Close up of the felted baby mary janes and felted ballet slippers. The pictures do not do them justice.

I have completed some other items that are not pictured yet as they need to be blocked. They are a Koigu Charlotte's Web Shawl and a Koigu Elizabeth I Lace Scarf. I'm in the process of attaching the bobbles to the Bobbles Everywhere bag and am weaving in ends on the Louisa Harding Beachcomber Bay Shawl. I also have been working hard on the Vivian Hoxbro Cardi and am on the right front edging (10 rows to go). Then I have to graft together 340 stitches (ahhhh!) and sew up the seams. I've also gotten a few rows done on the Philosopher's Wool sweater, but have quite a ways to go with that one.

I'm so glad that I finally got going on these projects, they were so ridicuously close to being finished and have freed up tons of knitting bags, so that I can add lots of projects from Stitches.

We got a little rain delayed at the Chalkfest on Saturday, so the boys and I stopped in to visit with Beth at the Black Purl. While we were there Beth and I came up with a couple of designs for sweaters for the boys, so I have started knitting the sample for Declan's. It's in a heavy worsted weight Merino and knits up very fast and is going to be beautiful.

Back to some knitting before I have to take kids to swimming lessons, soccer practice and golf lessons. Ahhh! I am a taxi cab, but may have some time in between to get a few rows in.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rekindling lost love

By making myself buckle down and finish wip's, I've rediscovered how much I loved the Vivian Hoxbro shadow jacket kit I bought at stitches mw last year. I love how every 2 rows you switch colors... And the colors in the fall colorway are gorgeous that I find myself admiring the gradual changes of color. Tht yarn is a delight to knit with and sick and twisted as I am, I love the size 2 and 3 needles. It's so close to being finished and i'll savor these last few days of our relationship.

I'm still without a computer. The geek squad are coming at 8am to fix it. In the meantime, thanks everybody for your supportive comments and for helping me realize I'm not alone in my drowning in ufo's.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Apparently it's my computer's turn to have an illness. A virus! So i'm sending this post via my treo which isn't the easiest for anything other than quick posts.

I've completed 11, yes that is correct - 11 of the wip's. I even took pictures to post on the blog but that obviously isn't cooperating tonight. Seeing as yesterday was independence day, I decided to buckle down and finish those projects. It was ridiculous how close to being finished they were.

Hopefully i'll get the computer working tomorrow and you can view the finished goodies.

I can receive email but can't respond. So don't feel bad if I don't reply asap.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I have a problem!

No wise cracks! I have a serious problem. I thought that the Fibromyalgia was a serious illness, but apparently I have one far worse ... Unfinishitis, or it's more common name, starter-of-knitting-projects,-but-never-finishing-project disease. This diagnosis can be confirmed by the following evidence.

List of projects not finished...

1. Dale Sisik Sweater - 90% of body completed
2. Dale Agave in Tiur - 2 sleeves completed
3. Louisa harding Periwinkle Shawl from Beachcomber Bay book - 100% knitted, needs ends wove in and button attached
4. Mason-Dixon Knitting Dishcloth Baby Kimono - 80% completed
5. Fibertrends Felted Baby Mary Janes - 100% knitted - needs felting and buttons attached
6. Philosophers Wool Color Your Own Sweater - 2 sleeves completed, 33% of body completed
7. Reynolds Odyseey - 100% of knitting completed, sewn together - needs 5 row collar knitted
8. Meg Swanson Unspun Icelandic Shawl - 100% knitting completed - needs ends woven in
9. Black Purl Cropped Ribbon Cardi - 100% knitted and finished - needs button attached
10. Koigu Knit Picks Elizabeth 1 lace scarf - 100% knitting completed - needs ends wove in and blocked
11. Koigu Charlotte's Web Shawl - 100% knitting completed - needs ends wove in and blocked
12. Rowan Calmer Shrug Sweater - 100% knitted and sewn together - needs edging reknit and blocked
13. Plymouth Baby Rimini Baby Blanket - 100% knitted - needs ends wove in
14. Baby Mist Alpaca Hat - 100% knitted - needs ends wove in
15. Baby Cow felted Hat - 100% knitted - needs sewing, ends wove in and felting
16. Great Adironack Fluff Scarf - 100% knitted - needs ends wove in
17. Felted Purple Ballet slippers for Madison - 100% knitted and finished - needs felting
18. Vivian Hoxbro Shadow Knit Cardigan - 90% complete knitted
19. Debbie Bliss Cashmere Baby Cardigan - 100% knitted - needs finishing
20. Odyssey Reynolds Scarf for Steve - need to lengthen - knit one other ball - (66% complete)
21. Classic Elite Premiere Shrug (own design) - needs shoulder shaping reworked & finished
22. Bobbles Everywhere Bag - needs 192 bobbles sewn & attached to bag - bag needs felting
23. Trekking XXL Lacey Nancy Bush Vintage Sock - 1st sock complete - needs 2nd sock knitted

Obviously there is no denying my problem. Therefore, I have decided that I must complete a minimum of 10 of the above projects before attending Stitches. I think that should be very easy considering that more than half of them are 100% knitted and just need finishing. This goes to proove that I am definitely a process knitter and not a product knitter for those who wondered.

In light of the need to finish projects, I have been sorting through the yarn stash and have come across some never started projects to be destashed. I will be the posting the following on Destash for Cash in a couple days, but first thought I'd give some (if there are any) of my blog readers a chance for first dibs.

Anny Blatt Rustique Yarn - 17 skeins - color Brume 064 (plus extra skein from swatching). Retail was $8.95 per skein so would have been $152+. I'll sell it for $90 OBO

Philosopher Wool Kilim Jacket Kit in Deep Sea colorway with clasps not buttons - retails for $142 so will sell for $90 OBO

(note: blogger isn't uploading pictures for some reason, so I have linked some pics from the web for you to see the yarns)

Anyone interested, let me know at my email - knittinbrit at charter dot net. The yarn comes from a smoke free and pet free home.

Now, I'm off to try and get some of those projects finished. I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Delayed Shout Out to Secret Pal's

They say "better late, than never!" Words I live by these days. I finally snapped some pics of the two most recent packages I had received. One from Karla, my Project ColorSwap partner for June and one from ?? my Secret Pal 8 partner.

The first is the colorswap package - Blue was June's color. What a lovely job Karla did when putting this package together. There is so much variety and lots to take in. The fun yarn, that my daugher wants a scart knit out of (we'll see) and then the mints (I consider mints a yarn bag staple), Note pad, Diary, lotions, Knitting booklet, so much more more. Thank you Karla for such a nicley thought out package. I can tell you really put a lot of effort into it.

My Secret Pal 8 partner, outdid herself again, with gorgeous yarn in one of favorite colors (brown) in a silk/kid mohair blend from ArtFibers (hint: she lives by ArtFiber - the Ms. Marple/Agatha Christie sleuth in me is itching to investigate and discover her true identity). There's so much yarn per ball - 515yds. I haven't swatched it yet to see wText Colorhat it wants to become. Any suggestions? Thank you. It is beautiful. I now need to research the company on the web and see what other delicious yarns they have to offer.

I received in the mail on Saturday my registration packet for Stitches along with all the homework. I am SOOOOO excited. I have decided in the meantime to work like a demon to get some projects finished up before I go to the show, and then I'll feel freer to purchase more (like anything stops me). I'm also looking forward to meeting Marji our Tudor Rose Host and the rest of you lingerers who might be in attendance. Let's meet up.

Thank you everyone for the kind words/thoughts on my illness. I'm trying to adjust to the new meds and live with the side effects. Hopefully this will pass soon. But I do appreciate your support in the knitting community. Mostly I appreciate the outlet to express myself and be accepted for who I am not what I am.